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Essien appointed deputy captain of Black Stars

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has confirmed AC Milan star Michael Essien as the deputy captain of the Black Stars ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

The experienced midfielder, according to coach Appiah, is the next in the leadership hierarchy in terms of seniority in the Black Stars team.

Ghana has been without a substantive deputy skipper ever since Asamoah Gyan was named captain of the side before the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Sulley Muntari has deputized on occasions where Asamoah Gyan has been absent or substituted during international matches.

But coach Kwesi Appiah has now confirmed Michael Essien as the next to take the captain’s armband in a game situation where Asamoah Gyan is being substituted.

“If Essien is in the game he will take the captain’s armband because he is senior to Sulley [Muntari],” Appiah told Metro FM.

“Asamoah Gyan is the substantive captain but if he is leaving the game and Essien is in it, he will take the armband.

“Next to him is Sulley Muntari,” he added.

Essien has been excused from Ghana’s early preparations for June’s tournament in Brazil which commenced on Tuesday in Accra.

He will link up with the team in Rotterdam where the team will be based for 11 days before moving camp to the USA.